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What happens to sex life, after bone marrow transplant?

Your sexual desire should return to normal when your strength and hormone levels recover. Experts recommend a platelet count of at least 50,000 per cubic millimeter before having intercourse. Sexuality is an important part of a loving relationship. Kissing, hugging, and touching are acts of love that may be resumed after you are discharged from the hospital.

Will my sexual desire change after my bone marrow transplant? You might notice a decrease in sexual desire after your transplant. Factors that can have an impact on sexual desire include hormonal changes, excessive fatigue, cancer pain or treatment or changes in your self-image. As your hormone levels return to normal and as you regain your strength and endurance, your sexual desire should return to normal. If you have any concerns about the changes in your sexual desire, please discuss them with your doctor, nurse, or social worker.

When can I have sex again after my transplant? We recommend having a platelet count of at least 50,000 per cubic millimeter before engaging in sexual intercourse. Because your immune system is now weaker than normal, you should avoid sexual practices that could result in oral exposure to feces. To reduce your risk of exposure to sexually transmitted infections such as CMV, HIV, hepatitis, and herpes, and because some medications can be passed to your partner during sexual activity, we recommend the use of latex condoms.

Will I have to take hormones after my transplant? In women, chemotherapy and radiation therapy cause changes in ovarian function and decreased hormone levels. Because of these changes, you may receive a prescription for estrogen supplements after your transplant. Your primary care provider can discuss your specific estrogen treatment with you. In addition, some women stop having their menstrual cycles after a bone marrow transplant and might benefit from hormone replacement therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms.

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